December 5, 2020

Girvin works in company with Cool Arrow for Louisiana Derby

Brian Hernandez Jr. guides Girvin to victory in the 45th running of the Risen Star Stakes (G2) at Fair Grounds (c) Lou Hodges Jr./Hodges Photography

Risen Star Stakes (G2) hero Girvin continued working in company with multiple stakes winner Cool Arrow ahead of the $1 million Louisiana Derby (G2) on April 1.

The duo took a spin around Fair Grounds’ fast main track on Saturday with trainer Joe Sharp aboard Cool Arrow and his wife, retired jockey Rosie Napravnik, holding the reins on Girvin.

The duo recorded splits of :24.60 and :36.60 while galloping out six furlongs in 1:14.20. They were given an official time of 1:01 for the five-furlong move.

“He went great,” Sharp said. “I was on Cool Arrow again and Rosie was on Girvin and it was even better than we expected.

“Unlike when they’ve worked together before, we had Girvin on the outside this time. At one point, Rosie squeezed on him and he quickly opened up a little on Cool Arrow. He galloped out great, too.”

Girvin is unbeaten on dirt thus far, having broken his maiden by a head going six furlongs at Fair Grounds on December 16 and taking the Risen Star Stakes by two lengths last out on February 25.

The Tale of Ekati colt was originally scheduled to make his three-year-old debut in the Lecomte Stakes (G3) on January 21, but was stabled at the Evangeline training center when it came under quarantine restrictions. Once cleared to compete, he instead used the Keith Gee Memorial Stakes on Fair Grounds’ turf as a prep for the Risen Star. The dark bay sophomore finished second by only three parts of a length in that grassy February 4 contest.

Girvin is scheduled to have a maintenance breeze next week in his final move before the Louisiana Derby.

Stablemate Cool Arrow, who finished a well-beaten 10th in the Risen Star last out while making his 2017 bow, captured the Kip Deville Stakes and Springboard Mile both at Remington Park as a juvenile.

In other Louisiana Derby news, last-out allowance/optional claiming winner Resiliency is probable to make his stakes debut in the 1 1/8-mile contest.

Trained by Steve Asmussen, the dark bay son of Malibu Moon had Excitations, a head second to Girvin while making their career debuts, back in third in his last race.

Resiliency has also faced fellow Louisiana Derby hopefuls Guest Suite and Senior Investment, running ninth to the former and being elevated to third behind the latter while taking part in allowance/optional claimers during his four-race career.